I think some of the best dishes are created when you apply flavors and infusions from the outdoor grill into classic recipes which are traditionally prepared indoors.
This week's column covers such a dish,
and frankly, one of my favorites.
The atmosphere of autumn reminds us of comfort foods, and one primary genre' of comfort foods is soup. This French onion soup recipe is smoky, hearty and cheesy, and most importantly, classically simple to prepare if patience is observed. The key is how patient you are with the onions.
First, set up the grill with indirect heat. As you know by now, my approach is to use a hickory log as the divider which keeps the hot coals on one side. As the log slowly smolders it will provide the smoky infusion for which we are looking. The other alternative is to sprinkle coals with hickory chips, or if you are using a gas grill, use a smoke box with your favorite wood.
• 6 to 8 large yellow onions
• 4 to 6 slices of french bread
• 2 to 3 Tbs of butter
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 1 Tbs flour
• 3 cans of beef broth (each can is 14.5 oz)
• 2/3 cup water
• 2/3 cup dry red wine
• 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
• ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• salt and pepper to taste
Cut the onions in half and place on the side of the grill that is opposite the coals along with the French bread. Cover with lid and allow to smoke for 30 minutes. Remove the smoked onions and French bread and allow to cool. Thinly slice the onions and set aside.
Heat the butter and oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the onions and saute' until a medium caramel brown. This step is very important, as most people do not cook the onions long enough to achieve the color.